Min­metals unit of­fers sponge city so­lu­tions for rain­fall us­age

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By ZHONGNANinWuhan zhong­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

WISDRI En­gi­neer­ing and Re­search In­cor­po­ra­tion Ltd, a sub­sidiary of China Min­metals Corp, the coun­try’s big­gest met­als trader by rev­enue, said it will pro­vide so-called sponge city so­lu­tions — the tech­nol­ogy be­ing rolled out in China to counter flood­ing— to more than 10 ma­jor cities in­clud­ing Nan­ning, Chongqing and Ji­nan in 2017.

As ur­ban­iza­tion de­vel­ops fast, the sponge city as an ur­ban de­sign con­cept has quickly gained at­ten­tion from the pub­lic. Such a city is able to ab­sorb, store for later use and re­cy­cle up to 70 per­cent of rain­fall, ef­fec­tively fil­ter­ing out pol­lu­tants from rain­wa­ter and cut­ting the rain­fall runoff that di­rectly flows into drainage sys­tems.

In 2014, there was flood­ing in 125 cities in China and it is be­lieved that the rapid ur­ban­iza­tion has made cities more vul­ner­a­ble, so in late 2015, the govern­ment launched its sponge city pro­gram. The ini­tia­tive in­te­grates tor­ren­tial rain­fall into the ur­ban wa­ter cy­cle, rather than let­ting it run away, as with the old ap­proach to drainage tech­niques.

Zhou Qiguo, WISDRI’s deputy gen­eral man­ager, said many cities are now con­fronting an awk­ward sit­u­a­tion. He Jing­tong,

When it is rainy, the cities are trou­bled by wa­ter­log­ging, be­cause their drainage sys­tems are over­whelmed. When the flood wa­ter re­cedes, they quickly fall into drought con­di­tions.

The com­pany said it is now in talks with a num­ber of cities in­Hubei, Hu­nan, Sichuan and Jiangxi prov­inces, be­cause build­ing a sponge city is a sys­tem­atic project and needs to be ap­proached by com­bin­ing man-made mea­sures with the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.

“The de­vel­op­ment of a sponge city can not only im­prove a city’s in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties, but also pro­tect its res­i­dents’ prop­erty,” Zhou said. “Im­prove­ments can quickly be found in air cir­cu­la­tion, soil, veg­e­ta­tion and hu­mid­ity.”

More than 67 per­cent of 400 cities on the main­land suf­fered some sort of flood­ing since 2010 and a to­tal of 148 cities ex­pe­ri­enced flood­ing more than twice, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey in June, con­ducted by the Bei­jing-based Chi­nese Academy of Science and Tech­nol­ogy for De­vel­op­ment.

Ea­ger to re­duce the im­pact caused by in­suf­fi­cient drainage ca­pac­ity in many cities, es­pe­cially in the south­ern parts of the coun­try, theMin­istry of Hous­ing and Ur­ban-Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment also pro­mul­gated guide­lines on the de­vel­op­ment of sponge cities in 2014.

Shortly af­ter 16 cities — in­clud­ing Xi­a­men, Zhen­jiang and Changde — were des­ig­nated as the first batch of sponge cities in a pi­lot pro­gram fea­tur­ing nat­u­ral stor­age, nat­u­ral per­me­ation and nat­u­ral pu­rifi­ca­tion.

In April, the pro­gram was ex­tended to in­clude 14 more cities.

“The con­cept of a sponge city should be fur­ther in­te­grated into ur­ban plan­ning, as­sess­ment, de­sign and con­struc­tion, rather than be­ing talked about sep­a­rately,” said He Jing­tong, a pro­fes­sor of ur­ban plan­ning at Nankai Univer­sity in Tian­jin.

“It is hard to trans­form a tra­di­tional city into a sponge one within a short pe­riod,” He added.

The con­cept of a sponge city should be in­te­grated into ur­ban plan­ning, as­sess­ment ...” pro­fes­sor of ur­ban plan­ning at Nankai Univer­sity

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